Yes

USD Teams to Compete April 29 for Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge Slots

USD Teams to Compete April 29 for Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge Slots

The Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge (FGSIC) is exactly that — a challenge. It's both an educational exercise and an opportunity for University of San Diego student entrepreneurs to create an idea that matches up with the mission of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Students choose their idea, create it, build and shape it and then present it in full to judges first, and then, in shorter form, to a community audience.

On Wednesday, April 29, starting at 5 p.m., 18 USD teams will present their 90-second pitch — online only, via YouTube — to determine the two USD entrants who will earn a share of $10,000+ in seed funding and also advance to the global final, scheduled for June 13.

The 11th annual event, USD's longest-running entrepreneurship competition, is happening in spite of challenges currently facing everyone around the world. Higher Education institutions, like everyone else, have pivoted due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. All USD students are taking spring classes via online instruction, they were all moved off-campus in the middle of the semester and are continuing to try and maintain good, healthy practices.

The event is run by the Center for Peace and Commerce, which is a joint partnership of the USD School of Business and the Kroc School of Peace Studies.

Silvia Mah, CPC's new director, is excited to see how the USD teams fare. While the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic have forced everyone to face a new way of life, Mah says she’s noticed a difference in the student entrepreneurs at USD.

"They've become more resilient as they've gone through everything with COVID-19. I'm seeing their grit and their hope amid all of this,” she said. “It has made them say, 'I'm able to make an impact, this is my passion.' They are so driven to make this an opportunity for themselves. They really do want to make the world a better place. These students, as I call them, are really bright lights."

Their entrepreneurship skillsets are being sharpened. A few projects have pivoted to include a COVID-19 connection, something that should make the USD Finals event a must-view.

Mah said the 18 teams will give their full 10-minute presentations to judges a few days prior to the USD Finals. The April 29 event is a culmination for students who have spent the entire academic year attending workshops on topics such as design thinking, ideation, business mapping, financial sustainability and more to hone their idea’s plans.

The virtual USD Finals is open to students, faculty, staff and the public to view online. It is Passport/Compass/Connect-approved for one point for USD undergraduate students.

— Ryan T. Blystone

For more information, please visit and register for the virtual USD Finals/Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge.

There will be 18 USD teams seeking one of two slots in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge when the USD finals take place online on April 29.There will be 18 USD teams seeking one of two slots in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge when the USD finals take place online on April 29.

Contact Information